Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Toddler Ty: October Adventures



It was fun to have a toddler during the fall this year! Usually I'm not a big fan of fall (waterfalls have dried up and it gets continuously darker and colder), but seeing my little boy playing at the pumpkin patch made it all worth it. We checked out Craven Farms with the ward playgroup at the beginning of the month. Their storybook land areas were super cute, and Ty loved their 3D dark maze and petting zoo.
Unfortunately that same evening Ty ended up in the hospital again! He'd been hospitalized with bronchiolitis back in April when whatever virus he'd picked up caused him to breathe rapidly and plunged his oxygenation rate down to to about 85%. We noticed him breathing rapidly again in addition to 3 horrible boils on his tummy and took him in to the Urgent Care clinic. There he was diagnosed with a staff infection that was causing the boils (boy was he unhappy about the culture test), which could be cured easily with antibiotics. The breathing, however, didn't improve in spite of the respiratory treatments they gave him, so the doctor recommended we take him in to the ER. They also gave him a steroid via apple juice, but she said it'd be 1-2 hours before we saw the effects of that. His oxygenation was about 95, so she didn't think we needed to take an ambulance, but she was concerned that his body might give out from working so hard.
Unfortunately we didn't make it to the hospital until about 8pm, Ty's bedtime, and the wait was tremendously long. Ty was playing with everything he could get his hands on and getting incredibly wired. No amount of rocking could convince him it was time for sleep. The bright lights, noise, and new environment were simply too stimulating. By the time we were seen there really wasn't much to be done. His breathing was still rapid, but it had relaxed a bit. Fortunately the nurse and doctor were really great with him. You could tell they each had kids of their own. The doctor said it was bronchiolitis again but that he was coping with it better than last time due to being older and having larger airways. She said there wasn't much to do but wait until the breathing calmed down and felt confident that we wouldn't need to be admitted. It was difficult to get a good reading of Ty's vitals with him being as wild as he was, so they left while we turned out the lights and Oscar managed to get Ty to sleep at 11:30pm. I went out and told the nurse that Ty was asleep, so he came back in to do a final vitals check. Ty's breathing and oxygenation were in the clear and we were discharged just before midnight. Ty didn't wake up at all when being put in and out of the car seat or put in his crib. He was zonked! I checked on him a few times throughout the night to make sure his breathing was nice and steady, and fortunately we didn't have any more problems. During the daytime the next day he had a few bouts of quick breathing, but they'd return to normal within a few minutes. We think it might have been the steroid they'd given him at the Urgent Care clinic. She'd said it would take a couple hours to kick in, and that's right when he started improving.
At home he soon returned to his normal silly self. 
Oh he's so cruel to the cats! We try to stop him and say "gentle with kitties." Sometimes he seems to understand it while other times he gleefully slaps them and pulls on their ears and tails. We're just lucky ours are so sweet and tolerant. Fortunately he has improved quite a bit in his handling of them. There was a day that he spent 5 minutes lightly touching Nibbler's ears and giggling hysterically when the ears would twitch in response.
Some of Ty's favorite toys are cat toys, like this cat wand. What's really cute is when the cats notice him carrying the cat wand and chase after him. He loves it but hasn't yet figured out that lightly dragging it is more fun for them than whacking it up and down.

The more I saw pumpkins the more I wanted some pumpkin ravioli, so we decided to finally pull out the pasta maker I've had for over a decade. A sweet couple in Italy gifted it to me. I'd taken it out of the box to look it over but never used it. My sister taught me the technique and Carolyn from the ward gave me some steel wool to clean it up with (it was severely rusted). We had a hard time with the ravioli setting, so we just hand rolled them ourselves. You can see from the many different types that we had to do this by trial and error. Eventually we figured it out, and Oscar made a delicious brown butter and sage sauce from the sage he's been cultivating in our front yard. Yummy!

Sweet little guy! Here he is playing under the crib with daddy.

and having fun watching roosters with grandma at Bothell Country Village. One came really close to them, and Ty went wild with delight. 

Grandma picked him up the cute slipper socks so he could have warm feet without slipping on our hard floors.

Doesn't he look adorable in those overalls! He's just too cute. We have to be careful with him around our fan though. Oscar had to get a screwdriver and open it up to get out several spoons and other things Ty'd put into it. It's never on and the outlet is always covered up when he comes into the room.

I took Ty to visit Oscar's work, and two coworkers gifted him a balloon. Ty loves playing with them and always wants to hold one whenever he's eating. The balloons are sad when Ty's not playing with them.
We had Madi and Brenna over the same day as the Ward Halloween party. We'd volunteered to bring chili and cornbread, and Brenna and Tyler liked helping Oscar make it. Afterward we brought them all over to the church with us where Beka picked the girls up once she was off school. Ty had fun getting beans all over himself and going through the haunted house in daddy's arms. The haunted house the young men had set up was impressive! I couldn't believe it was all in the primary room. I took Ty out for trunk or treat later, but by then he was getting pretty tired, so I had to carry him the whole time. At least he enjoyed the candy, particularly the suckers.

Oscar had a less fun experience at the party. Here's what he wrote about it.
Note to self-
When throwing your baby into the air, be sure that the angular momentum of your baby's foot is not directed into the inner thigh, especially since you are a man and there are sensitive things in that region.
This lesson I learned through experience this evening and was fairly incapacitated for about 10 minutes.

Ty may love sweets, but he also loves healthy food. Here he is making a big mess with his vegetables and chili dinner.
Since Ty was little his pediatrician's told me he has eczema on his face, arms, and legs and advised me on how to treat it.  You can see the redness on his face in this pic on the left, and anytime he's seen another doctor at a walk in clinic or the hospital they've asked what I'm doing to treat his Eczema and if it bothers him at night. Unfortunately none of the creams I used seem to work for him, so I took him in to a pediatric dermatologist on Halloween day. Turns out it's not eczema but just a rather bad case of Keratosis Pilaris. KP is purely a cosmetic condition, which explains why it never seemed to bother Ty very much. Eczema, on the other hand, causes itching and irritation. The nurse examined my own arm and said I have it too, but it's faded naturally with age, which is what will happen with Ty too. When she mentioned it I remembered having bumps all over my arms as a teenager and trying desperately to treat them with acne medicine. Mine were white, not red like Tyler's, but what teenager wouldn't be mortified by bumps all over her arms? Unfortunately the acne medicine never worked for me because the two skin conditions are caused by opposite things. KP is caused by dry skin while acne is caused by too much oil clogging the hair follicles. She said the good news is that Ty's unlikely to have acne because his skin is naturally drier than most, which was my case too. I think I got a zit about once every 6 months when I was a teenager. She said to continue applying creams to him because it does help with the redness but that the bumps are unlikely to go away for awhile. She gave us a prescription to try which can help, but sometimes with babies it causes stinging since their skin is extra sensitive. I figure we'll give it a try, and if he hates it, we'll stop.

While we were at Seattle Childrens Hospital we found out they were having a little non-food trick or treating, so I took him around to the different areas where he got little erasers and stickers and such. Upstairs they gave him this cute Jack O Lantern teddy bear and black scaredy cat toy. Earlier in the month mom and I picked him up the Frankenstein sippy cup and the make a sound Monster Mash book. Ty loves books that play music! The little pumpkin is the one he picked out at the pumpkin patch. We used it for pumpkin bowling at the playgroup Halloween party.

After his doctors visit we went trick or treating at Oscar's work. We attempted to make him a customer experience associate in training, but he would not let us keep those headphones on his head.
During his lunch break Oscar made this guy up to frighten trick or treaters, which it did quite successfully. He'd put a black light in where our porch light was, which made him glow even more creepily. One mom asked if he was going to jump out at her. I assured her he would not; that he was made merely out of toilet paper legs, a pillow belly, and a balloon head.

And in the spirit of Halloween, here are some scary pics! Wait a few seconds for the one on the far left. G+ let you Halloweenify a pic during October, but I only did it on a few. Next year I'm doing a bunch!